Page 1 of 1

1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:06 pm
by tdump
Am I the only nicompoop that mess's with these anymore?
There is some fancy websites on the net but I am the only 1 posting lately trying to find out basic motor information and so forth.
I have what may seem like a dumb question to folks in the know about Dc permanent magnet motors but I just don't know what this part is.The motor is from a GE Elec-Trak E8M lawn tractor.It is the drive motor.There is something,from what I am gathering it may be a thermal lock out? mounted on the brush plate.A lead is broke off and I need to know what it is,and what will replace it,or if it can be by passed as long as I operate with some common sense? I have new brushes ordered from 1 of only 2 sites online that sell them and I am waiting on them in the mail.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:52 am
by wayne sheldon
I question the use of the word "nincompoop", but on the other hand, I do call myself an "idiot" or "nut-case" somewhat regularly.

I am not quite sure what piece you are referring to, but if it is that little round disc? I suppose it could be a thermal breaker, however, I don't recall ever seeing one quite like that before. It also resembles a four-way bridge rectifier. However, if the motor runs off batteries, it should not need one of those. If, on the other hand, it runs off an AC electric cord (not generally a popular idea for ride-on lawn mowers), a bridge rectifier could be required.
If the two (Phillips head) screws are strictly mounting screws? And NOT electrically connective? I would lean toward a thermal breaker.

Generally not recommended because it removes a safety and potential fire preventive device. However, I have removed thermal breakers myself from electrical appliances on a few occasions. Usually just connecting the wires that connect into and out of the breaker to each other instead will allow the device to run (WITHOUT thermal protection).
Especial WARNING! Breakers in any sort of house or building wiring should NEVER be bypassed! The risk, and the LIKELIHOOD of a fire from any such action is far too great!

And HEY there Mack! Somebody ought to be fixing and preserving some of those things? Right?

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:12 am
by tdump
I finally found out what it was.There is a couple places to get parts for these things and 1 is Cleanpower out of Kansas I think. About 40 bucks with shipping for a used thermal breaker.it is a safety to keep from overheating the motor.it is inline with the solenoid and will cut the machine off if the motor gets to hot.
It is finally finished and mows great. I have replaced the bearings in the deck motors,drive motor and new belt and conntactor and so forth. Working on a couple larger 1's now.E12M and a E10M.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:45 pm
by Duey_C
That's too cool!

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:43 pm
by Burger in Spokane
I cannot figure out where to put gas or plug in the charging cord on my mower.

DSC06885.JPG

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:03 pm
by tdump
I hear ye Burger!
I have my grandparents Bluegrass Streamliner push mower that my grandmal bought on credit at the hardware store MANY years ago.Also have her 13 oz hammer that she bought after having a "discussion" with grandpal about where he kept his hammer.She kept hers under the kitchen sink and told him he better leave it ALONE or else!.

I tell ye,kids had to be tough to push them things very much. I have a modern 1 someone gave me with a catcher,but I have never put it in grass. I want to find 3 sections of a gang mower like this to pull behind 1 of my elec-traks at some point.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:13 pm
by Burger in Spokane
Years ago, I was told that reel mowers do *something* that makes lawn grass very happy.
It was the reason golf courses use them. It had something to do with not having a swirling
blade. I have been amazed at how my hard-to-make-look-good patch of grass has responded
to this old push reel. I can keep the grass shorter, it grows thicker, and it looks really good !
I can't explain it. The only change I made was the mower.

.... oh yeah, and it looks really cool and causes people to scratch their heads to see some
fool still using something like this ! :lol:

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:21 pm
by Duey_C
Good for you Burger. Nice looking mower. Ya, there is mention of some thing that a reel mower does unless its advert crap when the rotaries were coming... But it's working for you! :)
How do you keep him sharp?
I pulled a small gang of reels (3) with my T many years ago at our spring show. Worked great. We cut and we drank. Good times. :)

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:33 am
by Burger in Spokane
Walking back 100-year-old technology can prove interesting ... I took this mower to
a local shop to sharpen the reel and align the cutting bar, as I really don't grock how that
is supposed to dial in exactly. At this point the entire thing was a lump of hardened oil
and gunk in all the critical areas, so the sharpener guy did a little fussing to loosen parts
up and advised that I oil it liberally with MMO to make it loosen up more as I use it.

Well, the first few times were an exercise in frustration, as keeping the reel shaft engaged
with the wheel shaft was proving tough to to maintain, and many passes were required to
get a good cut. But it got better. The last few times, it has seemed to be regressing to the
reel constantly disengaging. I got it out yesterday to cut the lawn and was getting pretty hot,
as it was running more malfunction than not. I gave up, as it was getting dark and this morning
I dragged it into the shop and broke down the wheels and drive sprockets to figure out exactly
how those are supposed to work and perhaps figure out what was NOT working as it should.

Starting with the stone-hard grease/dirt material still occupying many of the nooks and crannies
of the sprockets and housings, I peeled each part back like an onion, cleaning and studying how
each fit together and engaged. The freewheeling part of this machine baffled me, and I am not
really sure I understand the exact how and why of the design, but I did discover some worn parts
and an odd slip-joint drive pin that allows this freewheeling to occur. Looking over the parts carefully
after cleaning, I realized one of these drive pins (one on each side) was installed backwards, never
engaging the drive sprocket, and thusly allowing the reel to disengage WAY too easily and often.

All cleaned up, I carefully oiled and reassembled the parts and cinched it up tight. The thing
cuts like a charm and only disengages the reel when the mower's forward motion is stopped.

I can see some machine work to make new parts in the future to keep this old dog working.
A good winter project. Not sure why I get such pleasure out of this silly thing, but it is really fun
to have and use such an archaic mower on my postage stamp size piece of lawn and have it do
such a nice job.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:06 am
by Dallas Landers
Burger, you have gone green and dont even realise it! Time to buy an electric car? No, wait, that makes no sense.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:59 pm
by tdump
If I were to go "green" I would have to use my John Deere 90 electric lawnmower.
I did some research on maby charging 1 of my electric tractors on solar just for kicks.Naw, them solar panels are exspensive! I can plug in to grid much cheaper.
I had wanted 1 of these electric mowers back when I was in college to make it remote controlled,perhaps even programable.But never found 1 till several years after college and didn't have the time to do it.
Now I do, and I aint forgot that idea.But it is old hat now as you can go to Lowes and get a little robot to mow your yard.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:45 pm
by Dallas Landers
Mack, I had one of them little robots. I fought with it every time the yard needed mowing. He grew up, got married and moved to town! He has his own mowing business now? :lol:

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:25 am
by Burger in Spokane
Yup, .... goin' green. Funny how most of the drones of the world suck that
line of BS up and never have a clue. It's all feel good bullshik and sloganeering.

So, I took my city lot and gave away all the landscaping to local gardener types,
leaving me with a bare earth lot. I put in new sewer, water, and storm water
systems, and built my new shop/house, much of it from salvaged Victorian bits and
hardware. The wifeperson insisted on a patch of grass, so I built a secluded area
in back where I maintain the postage-stamp size lawn that the push mower has been
pressed into service on. At the back is the chicken pen and henhouse, and down
each side of a narrow walk of lawn to the henhouse are narrow vegetable gardens.
What isn't house, shop, or lawn/vegetable garden is planted in with native Ponderosa
and Lodgepole Pine and a myriad of other native, low-water consumption stuff. The
local Conservation District uses my place as an example of urban forestry and xeri-
-scaping in their classes.

Now, the stormwater system captures all the rainwater to fall anywhere on the
property but the lawn, and channels it to water my "forest" or vegetable gardens.
The forest requires little maintenance and has become quite the little hotspot in
my urban environment for wild birds and related forest eco-system flora/fauna.
The neighbors will never understand my "wild" yard, but people often come by to
ask about the place and what I am doing. The old-looking Victorian house and old
truck add further intrigue and head scratching to the mix for people who feel the
cookie-cutter "plastic" yard and landscaping is a mandatory part of life.

A "greener" friend is always quick to tell me about his lithium-ion battery powered
lawn mower or the latest LED lighted widget, but fails to connect the dots to his full
acre of sprinkler-watered lawn. My old push mower was fun to show him after I got
"the talk" about how planet-saving his battery-powered mower is supposed to be.

It's not that hard to live a fairly low environmental impact life. Water conservation,
planting the right trees and shrubs, creating areas for wildlife to flourish .... frankly,
it is really neat to live in a close-in place, yet enjoy having all the birds and critters
around. The morning air is intoxicatingly thick with the smells of pine and sage. Any
effort expended to "live green" are paid back 100-fold in low water costs and time NOT
spent keeping up a "corporate" yard. Thanks, I'll eat mine here. 😜

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:07 pm
by Duey_C
Well Dallas, you made him push the yard huh? Easy for him now, he sits and pulls levers! Good for him! :)
When a kid, I just liked STARTING the mower! But I was the trimmer at the cemetery we did and with hand shears with the snakes. :lol:
Swear we had a handle and crank-up spring-start 2 cycle Lawn Boy way back then but my memory is getting thin there...
Have fun at OCF!

Burger, there is so much more to you than any of us figure. Not just a Jar Head or a Grunt... I'd ask for a thread and pics showing your real simple approach to green in your back yard and the chickens (I miss my chickens) but that's asking for a bit much perhaps. :)

Hey Mack, would you should show these folks your other electrics! ;) I like the extreme simplicity of those ol' buggers of yours!
I deal with the newer tech, 84V DC to 84V AC brain main power and down converter for lower voltage lights etc. Complicated and difficult to diagnose.
I should get one of those old devils for Maw!

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:53 pm
by tdump
Well,At the moment,I can't get much done for cleaning up tree parts.I have been waiting 2 years for a fellow to come cut 3 oaks that the stumps are 2 foot accross. Finally,wedsday,he called and said he was ON his way.My shop is full of everybody elses junk but my own,I have parts in my truck for 3 repair jobs and here he comes with a 60 foot boom truck and a bunch of chainsaws! :shock:
Well,the front yard did get mowed with the Elec Trak this evening.
I will post a pic or 2 over the weekend of the other 1's .They are very rough.BUT the thing is,most are that have not been in the dry or had batterys freeze and come apart in side them years ago.Bottom fell out of 1 of them when I pulled it out the back 40 a couple weeks back. :( So it will be a difficult repair.
This is a photo I have posted on Smok Stak of my John Deere 90.I have a 95 but it is just parts.It was run until the axles in the transaxle have over 1/4 inch of slop! :shock: The deck motors were used for a wind charger :(

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:29 am
by wayne sheldon
Neat, Mack! I look forward to seeing your others pictured.

Re: 1 of my other hobbies.Electric lawn tractors

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:50 am
by Burger in Spokane
This push mower is becoming more and more like a Model T project ... :lol:

The drive pins mentioned previously seemed a bit worn and rounded on edges
that are supposed to hold contact to make the reel shaft spin. Last weekend I
was beginning to get more disengagement again, so I pulled the wheels, removed
the pins, and built up the ends with the welder, then cut them back down to the
right profiles, but with an added 1/8" of length. I gave them a mild temper, and
put it all back together. I made about 10 passes on the grass and could only get it
to freewheel when I stopped forward motion or pulled it backwards. Although it
cuts well, the reel seems to lack a sharp edge like I think it should have. Maybe
get it sharpened after the last cut of the season ?